What Are Some Common Eye Exams?


Quick Answer

Common eye exams include an eye muscle test, refraction assessment, perimetry, glaucoma screening and visual acuity test, reports Mayo Clinic. Other eye exams include color vision testing, retina examination and slit-lamp examination.

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Full Answer

Doctors test the strength, control and coordination of eye muscles by observing as patients visually follow a moving object. Refraction tests check for refractive errors that may be corrected using contact lenses, glasses or refractive surgery. Perimetry assesses difficulty in seeing any areas within the patient's field of vision. There are three types of perimetry: tangent screen exam, confrontation visual field exam and automated perimetry, says Mayo Clinic.

Glaucoma tests such as applanation tonometry and noncontact tonometry measure fluid pressure in the eyes. In the case of a damaged optic nerve or high eye pressure, pachymetry is done to assess the thickness of the cornea, notes Mayo Clinic. Doctors instruct patients to identify letters on a Snellen chart or a screen to test their visual acuity, and use multicolored dot-patterns to investigate patients' color vision problems.

Doctors perform a retina assessment to evaluate the retina, optic disk and choroid. They administer eyedrops to dilate the pupils and then use techniques such as a direct exam, indirect exam or slit-lamp exam, states Mayo Clinic. In a slit-lamp exam, doctors examine the cornea, lens, iris and anterior chamber to detect eye conditions, adds WebMD.

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